5 Tools for Measuring In-Store Visits Driven By Mobile Ads

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iphone-mobile-advertisingMatching online ad exposure to offline visits has always been challenging for retailers, many of whom are unwilling to invest heavily in platforms that can’t show a direct ROI. This lack of information has led to hesitation among advertisers, and it is one of the reasons why only 3% of marketers now report finding “good ROI” in mobile advertising.

To combat this issue, mobile ad vendors have developed sophisticated techniques to “close the loop” by tracking how many in-store visits directly result from a mobile campaign. So-called “place visit rates” (a metric coined by PlaceIQ) use geo-location data to demonstrate the number of customers who visit a retailer after being served a mobile banner ad. Here are five platforms that merchants and CPG brands can use to get a better idea of how much in-store traffic is being generated by their mobile campaigns.

1. Placed: Turn mobile advertising into a quantifiable channel.
Advertisers, agencies, and publishing networks are using Placed Attribution to connect mobile ad campaigns to in-store visits. Offered as part of a partnership with xAd, Placed Attribution measures the location of more than 100,000 opted-in panelists, making this solution far more accurate than consumer recall surveys. Marketers can view custom reports with store visit numbers, standard lift information, and impression features that measure the characteristics (like income, ethnicity, and age) of the customers exposed to mobile ads. The cost of Placed Attribution is built into the CPM in the IO (insertion order).

2. Catalina’s BuyerVision: Match in-store purchases with online behavior.
Launched with the help of 4Info as a technology partner, Catalina’s BuyerVision helps CPG brands, advertisers, and media planners track the impact that digital advertising has on in-store sales. Brands can identify and define their target audiences, then match offline data to online cookies or anonymized mobile IDs. Mobile advertising (along with display and video) are served to the brand’s target audience. Brands can then measure their mobile advertising based on in-store purchases. BuyerVision offer customized pricing based on the goals of individual campaigns, taking into consideration the channels a client seeks to leverage (display, video or mobile) and the depth of campaign measurement.

3. PlaceIQ: Quantify the value of mobile campaigns.
Introduced earlier this year, PlaceIQ’s “Place Visit Rate” product, or PVR, quantifies the effectiveness of mobile advertising, messaging, and targeting. PlaceIQ aggregates the mobile devices that were sent messages as part of a mobile campaign, and then runs an analysis to determine how many of those same devices were seen at a specific store or location at a later date and time. PlaceIQ’s PVR tool can be used in the QSR, auto, entertainment, travel, and CPG industries. PlaceIQ does not publish its pricing structure.

4. Sense Networks: Apply store-visit rates to mobile campaigns.
Sense Networks follows up on its tracking of how many mobile users click on a mobile ad by measuring what percentage of those users subsequently visited the merchant’s location. Brands and marketers that rely on Sense Networks for their mobile ad campaigns can use the vendor’s mClick-to-Visit Analytics product to track the impact that mobile ad spend has on in-store purchases. Sense Networks measures store visits through a combination of location observation, mobile shopping surveys, and “science-based machine learning modeling.” Sense Networks’ mClick-to-Visit Analytics product is included in its campaigns at no extra cost.

5. Datalogix: Measure the offline sales lift from a digital campaign.
Retailers, CPG brands, and developers can utilize Datalogix’s tools to measure the offline impact of their mobile campaigns. Instead of relying on panels, surveys, or inferred behaviors to track in-store visits, Datalogix uses a SKU-level transactional database that contains more than $1 trillion in offline purchase data to measure marketing results. The vendor has partnered with Jumptap and 4Info on its mobile solutions, offering cross-publisher measurements that scale across “virtually every digitally-addressable media impression.

Know of other tools that retailers and brands can use to track online to offline advertising? Leave a description in the comments.

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.